In 2019, there’s been an increase in efforts to reduce Indigenous suicide prevention through programs, initiatives, government prioritisation, and resourcing. Yet today, Indigenous Australians still have some of the highest rates of self-harm and suicide in the world, especially among those aged between 5-17. There are continued challenges and sometimes confusion about who and what is being responded to in the suicide prevention sector. Robust conversation and dialogue must be had about what the challenges and opportunities are. 

We need to talk, we need to plan, and we need to act. 

 Join us at the Indigenous Suicide Prevention Forum (Melbourne, December 4-6) to discuss how we can holistically address this human tragedy. Bringing together speakers from across Australia and from all corners of the suicide prevention space, the Indigenous Suicide Prevention Forum will showcase lived experience stories, evidence-based findings, culturally safe programs, community empowerment efforts, and national action plans. Integral to this discussion will be your participation, your ideas, and your teamwork, resulting in a written statement of intent that can be used to benchmark your work. 

Adele Cox Chief Executive, 

Thirrili Forum Convenor, 

Indigenous Suicide Prevention Forum  

Indigenous Suicide Prevention Forum 2019

Alwyn Doolan organised a mass movement over the weekend that saw around 100 nations all dance on country at the same time.

An online movement has become one of the largest coordinated expressions of culture as hundreds of Indigenous people across the nation danced on their Countries as one in a sign of solidarity.

The ‘Nation Dance’ movement called on all Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander nations to simultaneously share live videos of their ancestral dances with the world-wide web on Sunday.  

Coordinated by Gooreng Gooreng and Wakka Wakka man Alwyn Doolan – who walked from Cape York in Queensland to Parliament House in Canberra, with the intention to empower First Nations People – the event was all about “uplifting community”.

“[The movement] is about uplifting our songlines, our rivers, our creations, our creators, our trauma, especially with the tragedy that is happening with all the bushfires down in New South Wales even up the coast in Queensland as well,” he said in a Facebook video prior to the event.

“[Let’s] all dance at one time on this great continent we call our land.”

The message was heard far and wide with over 100 nations known to have taken part in the movement.

Nation Dance 2019 – Melbourne

As First Nations women, we adorn our bodies for many reasons. For some, the act of adorning harnesses the strength and power of our Ancestors. Our bodies are carriers of thousands of years of cultural knowledge, and when we adorn them we are expressing our pride in our identity, and the continuation and evolution of our culture. 

They Shield Us is an exhibition that draws on the Koorie Heritage Trust’s Collection along with new works by artists Yaraan Bundle, Djirri Djirri Dance Group, Isobel Morphy-Walsh, Marilyne Nicholls, Laura Thompson and Lisa Waup. In creating new works, each artist will spend time with the Koorie Heritage Trust Collection, gaining invaluable insight and inspiration. These objects have stories woven, stitched, painted and sewn into them. The exhibition will look at how the acts of creating, sharing and wearing cultural adornments shape our identities as Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander women.

They Shield Us conveys the act of cloaking one’s self in culture and the many reasons why we adorn our bodies as contemporary First Nations women including channeling Ancestral strength and protection.